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PandaDoc

PandaDoc is an all-in-one tool to create, edit, send, track, and eSign documents quickly and easily. Discover a better way to generate professional-looking and error-free proposals, quotes, and contracts with PandaDoc. Win more de...Read more about PandaDoc

4.5 (1105 reviews)

8 recommendations

iQuoteXpress

iQuoteXpress (IQX) is a sales proposal automation solution that reduces the time and costs it takes to make sales quotes by more than half. Used across almost every vertical—tech, real estate, manufacturing, education, and more—IQ...Read more about iQuoteXpress

4.8 (21 reviews)

7 recommendations

SolSuite

SolSuite is a cloud-based configure price and quote (CPQ) management solution that helps sales teams to automate their quotation routines and manage interactions with clients SolSuite provides sales teams with tools such as disco...Read more about SolSuite

5.0 (2 reviews)

4 recommendations

EASA

EASA is the leading software tool for those businesses currently using highly developed and complex Excel spreadsheets, including those with macros/VBA, for critical functions but are being hindered by the common limitations such ...Read more about EASA

4.3 (14 reviews)

3 recommendations

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Experlogix CPQ

Experlogix is a cloud-based Configure, Price Quote (CPQ) solution that streamlines the sales ordering and quoting process for organizations with configurable products or services. Experlogix CPQ seamlessly integrates with both ...Read more about Experlogix CPQ

3.8 (21 reviews)

1 recommendations

Epicor CPQ

Epicor CPQ ensures every configuration is accurate, profitable, and optimized from an engineering standpoint. It then automatically calculates pricing and generates a quote. Finally, it generates CAD drawings and bills of material...Read more about Epicor CPQ

4.5 (17 reviews)

1 recommendations

Quote Manager CPQ

Quote Manager enables users to create and send professionally branded quotes from Dynamics 365 in a few minutes. As a native solution, Quote Manager works with all the standard Dynamics features including word templates, PDF ge...Read more about Quote Manager CPQ

5.0 (3 reviews)

1 recommendations

Xero

Xero is a global small business platform with 3.95 million subscribers which includes core accounting, payroll, workforce management, expenses and projects. Xero also has an extensive ecosystem of connected apps and connections to...Read more about Xero

Keap

Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) is a cloud-based sales and marketing solution that offers customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, and e-commerce functionalities in one suite. Keap helps small businesses across v...Read more about Keap

JobBOSS²

JobBOSS² helps job shops, make-to-order manufacturers, and contract manufacturers improve profitability and manage their supply chain. By integrating people, processes, and technology, our quote-to-cash solution reduces bottleneck...Read more about JobBOSS²

Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is an online workspace for small, medium, and large businesses. It features over 35 cross-integrated tools, including CRM, tasks, Kanban board, Gantt chart, messenger, video calls, file storage, workflow automation, and m...Read more about Bitrix24

mHelpDesk

mHelpDesk is a field service solution that helps customers automate everything from first customer contact to getting paid. This includes customer management, quoting, dispatching, invoicing, billing and reporting. mHelpDesk ...Read more about mHelpDesk

Odoo

Odoo is the #1 open-source integrated business apps suite. Main apps include Website Builder, eCommerce, CRM, Accounting, Project Management, Warehouse Management, Manufacturing, Human Resources, and Marketing. There is an app for...Read more about Odoo

Jobber

Jobber is a cloud-based field service management software solution that allows small and midsize service businesses to manage field staff, provide customer support, and expand business operations either through a mobile app or a d...Read more about Jobber

Abby

With Abby, an auto-entrepreneur can manage administrative procedures on a single platform, streamline the automatic calculation of contributions, and send declarations to Urssaf. The invoicing module assists with the creation of ...Read more about Abby

PayPal Invoicing

PayPal Invoicing is a free solution that makes it easy to send invoices and get paid faster. Create and send professional-looking invoices, track payments and view transaction histories, and stay on top of your business with PayPa...Read more about PayPal Invoicing

JobNimbus

JobNimbus is a CRM and project management software wrapped up in one application. The platform is an end-to-end solution designed to help contractors (roofing and construction professionals) streamline their communication and bett...Read more about JobNimbus

Qwilr

Qwilr is a cloud-based sales documentation and request for proposal (RFP) solution. It offers audit trail features, sales and marketing document storage, a content repository and analytics functionalities. Qwilr features a te...Read more about Qwilr

Sage 100

Sage 100 is a cloud-connected ERP platform (Enterprise Resource Planning) for medium-sized manufacturers, distributors, and professional service companies. Finance, budgeting, planning, inventory, supply chain, production manageme...Read more about Sage 100

ServiceM8

ServiceM8 is the app for trade contractors & service businesses, such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC & refrigeration contractors, locksmiths, cleaners & gardeners — any kind of small business which manages jobs & staff in the field...Read more about ServiceM8

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: November 07, 2023

These days, business clients expect instant price estimates when they contact manufacturers for quotes. Providing a quote upon initial inquiry has now become much more streamlined and is no longer a significant bottleneck in the sales cycle. This is due in part to the rise of configure-price-quote (CPQ) software.

We’ve created this guide to help you understand what CPQ software is and how it can benefit your business. In this guide, we’ll cover:

(Click on a link below to jump to that section.)

What Is CPQ Software?

Common Features of CPQ Solutions

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Pricing Models

What Is CPQ Software?

CPQ software is used by sales professionals to provide cost estimates for custom orders, often in the context of a built-to-order manufacturing operation. With a CPQ solution, a salesperson can use requirements, order volume and other details from the client to generate an estimate on the spot. It is critical for streamlining the sales process and ensuring that sales prospects do not fall through the cracks because they did not receive a prompt estimate.

CPQ software often integrates with a manufacturer’s customer relationship management (CRM) system, and in some cases with their material requirements planning (MRP) system, further streamlining the sales-to-manufacturing process. In other situations, the CPQ solution might be one module within a broader CRM or MRP suite.

Common Features of CPQ Solutions

Although each system is likely to have its own unique characteristics that may make it a better or worse fit for your business, there are a handful of core features common to most CPQ solutions. In the table below, we take a look at those common features you’ll find in most products:

Analytics

Provides detailed reports and data, typically in a dashboard format, of sales KPIs and other business metrics of how the CPQ system has been used in the past. Some platforms can do forecasting or other predictive analytics to gauge what future sales and configurations will be like.

Guided selling

Sales professionals can easily find suitable products automatically, based on the client’s needs and requirements.

Price and quote

The core feature of a CPQ system, price and quote sets the price based on a client’s requirements and delivers the quote to the client.

Renewal management

Assists sales professionals in maintaining standing orders or renewed orders with their clients.

Product configuration

Allows businesses to set logic rules for how products can be configured and what degree of customization a customer can choose.

Mobile compatibility

Many CPQ platforms offer mobile compatible apps for sales professionals that are on the go. These apps are usually just as fully featured as their desktop counterparts.

Salesforce-Steelbrick-price-quoting-on-iPad

Salesforce Steelbrick price quoting on iPad. Source: SteelBrick.com

What Type Of Buyer Are You?

CPQ software is most often used by midsize and larger organizations with extensive product lines or those that offer a large degree of customization for customers when ordering.

The types of businesses most likely to deploy a CPQ solution usually have large sales teams who must be continuously kept in the loop about product changes and development. CPQ software is also used by sales teams that have trouble managing and neatly organizing a large volume of custom sales orders and inquiries.

That said, smaller businesses that are growing rapidly may wish to deploy CPQ software, as it can give them a competitive edge by enabling them to quickly turn around price quotes back to customers.

Pricing Models

Most modern CPQ systems are cloud-based and typically priced as a monthly subscription, based on the size of the buyer's business or the number of named users. The advantages of cloud-based systems include:

  • Easier deployment (since the software is accessed online, rather than installed on the users' own local servers)

  • Shorter implementation time (for the same reason)

  • Automatic updates pushed out by the vendor (rather than the user having to install updates themselves manually)

However, some CPQ software vendors might offer CPQ software that is hosted on-premise and priced as a perpetual license. Typically with perpetual licenses, however, annual fees for support and maintenance still apply.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both pricing models. Smaller organizations tend to be attracted to the lower upfront costs associated with monthly subscriptions.

However, be aware that the total cost of ownership (TCO) of subscription-based products tends to converge with that of perpetual license-based products over time. While you'll pay less upfront for a subscription, the subscription fee recurs monthly, whereas with a perpetual license, recuring fees are much lower and tend to be less frequent (e.g. annual fees for maintenance or upgrades).